Yes it was Halloween, and I was more than excited to don the cape and mask of the Dark Lord of the Sith. You have to note that the only part of the costume that is original is the mask. I wasn't too happy with the actual costume part of the costume. I mean would Darth Vader really walk around with a picture of himself on his chest?
I had to talk my mother into coming up with the rest of the costume from sketches, spy photos, newspaper clippings, and cloth swatches of my choosing. Many Bothans died to get all that reference.
Now Vader would not be complete without his lightsaber, so I am going to introduce to you a feat of Dad Engineering, a marvel if you will, non other than the first lightsaber to ever exist outside of a Star Wars movie... ever.
What we have here is a signal flashlight, complete with some D Cells, and a translucent golf bag tube, some elbow grease and a little tape and voila, a lightsaber! Funny part is no one to our knowledge had released any type of lightsaber, light sword, or light stick to cash in on the Star Wars juggernaut. Kenner certainly hadn't, I would have been on that faster than a flea on a Wookiee.
A little side story on the birth of the lightsaber. We were in a store and next to the golf tubes was the signal flash lights, my dad picked both up, sort of smiled and placed then in the shopping cart, I had no clue what he was up to, I mean he didn't golf and as far as I know we were not expecting to signal any aircraft in for a landing.
The damsel in distress in the photo is my mother, dad is on the camera, an uncle in the background, if I had to guess we were all going out to eat. A little pre Halloween celebration, and I was hoping that I could wear the Vader costume. I am sure I was disappointed and had to change... parents, jeez!
Finally the big night, decorations... check, homemade coffin with ice cold hand hanging out... check, slightly intimidating Dark Lord of the Sith... um, check. Looking at this picture I look so small, but having been in that costume I felt like I was as big and tall as Vader himself.
This to me is what Star Wars was all about, creativity, imagination, fun. It still pretty much is.